The greatest expression of pan-African prosperity that Africa ever witnessed in its long and colourful history occurred in the Western Sudanese Empires.
One symbol exemplified that great wave: The trans-Saharan Caravans.
So effective were these "mobile entrepots" that they birthed a trade and investment paradigm that created bullion vast enough to dominate trade instruments in the known world. Mansa Musa's famed pilgrimage to Mecca, which brought this power to the attention of the world was but the tip of the iceberg.
And at the beating heart of this legend was one motif: the camel CARAVANS of the Sahara. Today, they limit us to: "Sub-Saharan", when in history we were trans-Sahara. It is time to reclaim the trade routes of the past and restore the treasures of the old. Time for Africa to inherit its rightful place in the world, as the greatest trading and investment empire of all time.
The caravans are moving again, and this time they are here for good!
The Caravan paradigm provides a comprehensive framework to accelerate disaggregated, grassroots-driven, industrialisation and for converting current underemployment-adaptation strategies among large numbers of young microentrepreneurs, solopreneurs and freelancers into true mass employment schemes for young people on the African continent.
It does this by interlinking local value chains to amplify STEM-based improvement opportunities, whilst laying the groundwork for cross-border ecosystems of microenterprises, which through synergies can CREATE JOBS, DRIVE TRADE & BOOST INTEGRATION for GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS.
Caravan Africa will create the necessary capacity building support for micro-entrepreneurs to develop STEM-focused value chains to address challenges and opportunities in strategic industries – agro processing, textiles/fashion, technical professional services (like electrical and plumbing), cosmetics and interior decoration related manufacturing - within the respective countries.
To support about 100,000 microenterprises, that in turn can create 2 million indirect jobs in 10 years through the multiplier effects of value amplification.
The tectonic plates are shifting epically. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, a resurgent and defiant boom in technology and innovation driven entrepreneurship. And, at last, the awakening of Africa's vast and enterprising Diaspora to the role of the mother continent in their success and identity. Now is the time to build a truly African approach to the greatest task confronting the continent: putting its teeming youth to dignified, productive, labour in order to harness their creativity, skills and energy for broad-based transformation.